Hazard Mitigation Planning Division

The Hazard Mitigation Planning Division oversees hazard mitigation planning throughout the State of California. This Division is comprised of the State Mitigation Planning Unit and Local Mitigation Planning Unit. Our staff maintains, updates, tracks, and collaborates on outreach and technical assistance across state and local planning programs.

State Hazard Mitigation Planning Unit

The Cal OES State Mitigation Planning Unit (SMP Unit) is responsible for the maintenance, implementation, and update of California’s State Hazard Mitigation Plan (SHMP or Plan). This process entails close coordination with federal, state, Tribal Nation, local, and non-governmental partners. The SMP Unit works with these partners to develop and refine the SHMP based on their subject matter expertise, and to track progress toward the SHMP’s defined mitigation goals to create a safer and more resilient California. Additionally, the SMP Unit socializes the SHMP to partners and stakeholders statewide to raise awareness about the Plan and about how it can be used for local and individual planning efforts. This collaborative Unit strives to create and implement an innovative and accessible plan that reduces the risk to lives, property, and the environment throughout the State.

Contact the State Mitigation Planning Unit at SHMP@CalOES.ca.gov.

2023 State Hazard Mitigation Plan (SHMP)

The SHMP is California’s primary hazard mitigation guidance document and represents the State’s continued commitment to a comprehensive mitigation strategy. California’s mitigation strategy is centered on the reduction or elimination of hazard risks and disaster impacts, resulting in less loss of life and property, faster disaster recovery, and a more resilient California.

Specifically, the SHMP details California’s historical and current hazards, identifies mitigation strategies and actions to address those hazards, and provides guidance to local jurisdictions developing their own hazard mitigation plans. The SHMP is updated on a five-year cycle and the 2023 SHMP will expire on August 29, 2028.

The 2023 SHMP was developed in close collaboration with various federal, state, Tribal Nation, local, and non-governmental partners, as well as with members of the public. The 2023 SHMP expands on previous SHMP discussions of hazard impacts on equity priority communities and of climate change as an exacerbator to hazard events. The 2023 SHMP also organizes hazards according to an impact rating, rather than by hazard type as seen in previous plans.

The 2023 SHMP is split into two volumes to support clarity and accessibility:

  • Volume 1 is the Core Plan and documents California’s hazard mitigation program and the planning process used to explore hazards faced by California’s communities. Volume 1 presents essential information about natural hazards and other hazards of interest, the risks in California, and the proposed actions to mitigate the risks.
  • Volume 2 consists of technical appendices and data that support and expand upon the information presented in Volume 1.

For any issues accessing the documents or any questions about the SHMP, please contact the State Mitigation Planning Unit at SHMP@CalOES.ca.gov.

New to the SHMP? Start with the 2023 SHMP Primer document before diving into the content of the SHMP.

Local Hazard Mitigation Planning Unit

The Cal OES Local Mitigation Planning Unit oversees the technical assistance, training, outreach to support the development, update, and implementation of Local Hazard Mitigation Plans (LHMPs) in California. The Local Mitigation Planning Unit also reviews LHMPs, and forwards plans that meet federal regulations and guidance to FEMA for approval. Cal OES monitors and tracks where LHMPs are in development and implementation, to ensure that entities are eligible to apply for grants in the Hazard Mitigation Assistance grant programs, a key feature of participating in and adopting a LHMP.

Contact the Local Planning Unit at MitigationPlanning@caloes.ca.gov.

 

LHMP Development and Update Process

Since California regularly experiences natural disasters, encouraging communities to develop and adopt LHMPs is a priority. The Federal Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (DMA 2000) requires that states review LHMPs as part of their state hazard mitigation planning process. The intent is three‐fold:

  1. To gather hazard, vulnerability, and mitigation information from the local level for use in state‐level planning
  2. To ensure that state and local hazard mitigation planning is coordinated to the greatest extent practical
  3. To ensure that local jurisdictions are made aware of the hazards and vulnerabilities within their jurisdiction and to develop strategies to reduce those vulnerabilities

This process ensures that mitigation actions are based on public input to all community stakeholders to account for the risks and capabilities of California communities. Mitigation plans form the foundation for a community’s long term strategy to reduce disaster losses and break the cycle of disaster damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage.

Communities engaging in the LHMP development or update process should first review the FEMA’s Local Mitigation Planning Policy Guide and FEMA’s Local Mitigation Planning Handbook to understand the required elements of LHMPs. FEMA issued changes to the process and documentation requirements in LHMPs and are outlined in this Cal OES Local Hazard Mitigation Planning Fact Sheet.

Once you complete your LHMP and submit it to our team, Cal OES reviews all LHMPs in accordance with FEMA regulations and coordinates required revisions to ensure compliance with FEMA policy. Once Cal OES planning staff find the LHMP meets requirements, the LHMP is forwarded to FEMA Region IX mitigation planning staff for final review and approval. Communities can adopt their plan once they receive approval from FEMA Region IX and Cal OES. LHMPs expire every 5 years and ensure eligibility for FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance grant programs, including the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities program, and Flood Mitigation Assistance Program.

Local Planning Resources

Cal OES Local Planning Fact Sheet

This fact sheet outlines major requirements and changes in the “new” guidance that became effective in 2023. Please email Cal OES at MitigationPlanning@caloes.ca.gov for questions about the LHMP process!

Assembly Bill 2140 Fact Sheet

Passed in 2006, Assembly Bill No. 2140 (AB 2140) allows California counties and cities to adopt their current, FEMA-approved local hazard mitigation plans (LHMPs) into the Safety Element of their General Plans. The fact sheet includes information for counties and cities, steps required to become AB 2140 compliant, and frequently asked questions.

FEMA’s Local Mitigation Planning Policy Guide

FEMA’s Local Mitigation Planning Policy Guide outlines the current standards to which FEMA and Cal OES review each LHMP and should be read before starting the LHMP planning process to understand what must be included, tracked, and completed during the process. Appendix A is the Local Mitigation Plan Review Tool, where you demonstrate where every element is met throughout the LHMP document.

FEMA’s Local Mitigation Planning Handbook

FEMA’s Local Mitigation Planning Handbook has been one of the best tools for local governments to use in developing or updating an LHMP for over a decade. Updated in 2023, this document breaks the planning process out into specific tasks, and uses those tasks to outline key ideas, requirements, and steps to follow chronologically. The handbook provides examples, process worksheets, and best practices throughout each step in the process.

FEMA’s Local Plan Review Tool with HHPD

The Local Hazard Mitigation Plan Review Tool demonstrates how the Local Hazard Mitigation Plan meets the regulation in 44 CFR §201.6 and offers State and FEMA Mitigation Planners an opportunity to provide feedback to the community. Please email Cal OES at HMA@caloes.ca.gov for the latest version of the LHMP Review Tools.

FEMA’s Updated LHMP Training Course (Free Online!)

FEMA updated its free online Independent Study Program course, IS-318 Local Hazard Mitigation Planning, available for free on the Emergency Management Institute Website.

Hazard Mitigation and CRS

How to Maximize Community Rating System Credits for your Local Hazard Mitigation

FEMA Tribal Mitigation Plan Review Guide and Handbook

FEMA’s Tribal Mitigation Plan Review Guide and the FEMA Tribal Mitigation Planning Handbook outline the current standards to which FEMA reviews Tribal Mitigation Plans and best practices for Tribal Mitigation Planning. We recommend looking at these resources before starting the planning process to understand what must be included, tracked, and completed during the process.

Region IX Tribal Plan Review Tool

The Region IX Tribal Plan Review Tool demonstrates how the Tribal Hazard Mitigation Plan meets the federal regulations and FEMA Mitigation Planners an opportunity to provide feedback to each tribal nation. Please email Cal OES at HMA@caloes.ca.gov for the latest version of the LHMP Review Tools.